Local search is a quickly evolving game and there are more and more great resources available to those of us focusing on it. The goal of compiling this list is to help some veterans find a new tool they may have missed or give newbies a starting point to some of the best local search resources available today. Please share additional tools, blogs, resources, etc. that are exclusive to local search in the comments below!
Local Search Ranking Factors - The first and most important resource anyone needs to read about local search is David Mihm's compilation of industry experts' feedback on local search ranking factors. Read it, study it, use it!
Local Search Legends/Blogs:
- Mihmorandum by David Mihm
- Local SEO Guide by Andrew Shotland
- Understanding Google Maps & Local Search by Mike Blumenthal
- Small Business Search Marketing by Matt McGee
- NiftyMarketing by Mike Ramsey
- NGS Marketing by Nyagoslav Zhekov (suggested by Darren Shaw)
- Local Visibility System by Phil Rhozek (suggested by Darren Shaw)
- Local Catalyst eMarketing by Linda Buquet (suggested by Darren Shaw)
- Nodal Bits by Chris Silversmith (suggested by Phil Rozek)
- Screenwerk by Greg Sterling (suggested by Darren Shaw)
- Nightlite Media by Adam Steele (suggested by Darren Shaw)
- Small Business Online Coach by Matthew Hunt (suggested by Darren Shaw)
Local Search Tools:
- Local Citation Finder - You can't blog on Whitespark's blog and leave out their Local Citation Finder, right? Honestly though, this is one of the most useful local search tools available today. We all know citations are a huge ranking factor - here's the best way to find some citation opportunities.
- GetListed.org - With GetListed.org, you can very quickly get a feel for where you're listed, where you aren't listed and how you can improve your listings. It's a great start for a business owner or consultant.
- Mike Blumenthal's Category Tool - Helps you pick the right categories for your Google+ Local page. Essential! (suggested by Darren Shaw)
- Geositemap Generator - This tool does 3-in-1: create a geositemap, KML file AND the schema markup for local businesses. There are other similar tools out there but this one does it all and keeps it simple. If there are others you like, drop a link in the comments.
- Local Search Toolkit - This tool pulls in data for a given keyword to help you speed up your analysis and compare # of reviews, owner verified status and other factors. Guessing it's broken since the release of Google+ Local...
- Local Keyword Research Tool - This tool will help you generate ideas for keywords/search terms that you want your website to rank for. Enter one Geographical Modifier/Core Term per line and click Generate Keywords. (suggested by Darren Shaw)
Conferences & Training:
- BIA/Kelsey Conferences - ILM, Search Starts Here and others.
- SMX Advanced Local University - Content by GetListed.org Team
- GetListed.org University - Traveling seminar-style training, coming soon to your city!
Listings You Should Own & Maintain:
The sites below are big from a local search ranking perspective but they are sites that potential customers also use to find new businesses. Claim, optimize and keep your listing up to date on these sites. (Prepare for a flood of Yellow Page sales calls if you sign up on all of these - everything from directory advertising to phone book advertising to call tracking. You've been warned.)
- Google Places
- Bing Business Portal
- Yahoo! Local
- Super Pages
- Yellow Pages
- Dex Online
- ASK Listing
- City Search
- White Pages
Data Aggregators You Should Submit to:
Many yellow page directories and niche directories use data from one of these 3 sources to build out their sites. Make sure your business data is accurate and up to date with the following aggregators.
Local Search Groups/Organizations
What are your favorite local search tools, blogs and other resources? Please share yours in the comments. We'll continue to update this post as resources come in!
About the Author:
Bryan Phelps is Director of SEO for SEO.com, specializing in local SEO services. SEO.com provides organic search services for a wide variety of businesses including large enterprises and small to medium sized businesses.